No more diatribes, please

15th May 2009 at 01:00
David Terron, Elgin Academy

You hailed an article by a self-confessed terrorist, Bill Ayers (pictured with his wife), with the opening "Barack Obama's `terrorist pal', a dig at the academic's radical past in the Weather Underground" (April 17). If you regard being a terrorist who took part in attacks that only missed killing people by sheer luck as a radical, then perhaps you should consider asking another former terrorist, Northern Ireland Education Minister Martin McGuiness, to contribute to how best to teach our children.

Sol Stern once said: "Calling Bill Ayers a school reformer is a bit like calling Joseph Stalin an agricultural reformer." Ayers frequently and loudly promotes his right to free speech, yet denies members of the educational community their right to speak up. He sees education as a means of social and political activism, rather than encouraging learning. Quite what I am expected to take from this "educational expert" is difficult to understand.

It was with an already increased sense of annoyance that I then read the anonymous attack (April 24) on Brian Boyd, one of the architects of A Curriculum for Excellence, for which he has not been fully recognised. I get the impression that the author not only fails to understand ACfE, but is unwilling to change to cope with the 21st century. The author of this screed must surely be nicknamed Dinosaurus Educatus.

Allowing such attacks seems to me to be profoundly undemocratic as well as rude. I hope The TESS will give a voice to many different opinions, but do we really need to fall so low as to include such as Ayers and the anonymous author of the diatribe against Brian Boyd?

David Terron, Elgin Academy.

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